My essentials: Jeremy Grech’s cultural picks

No 77 | Jeremy Grech, 26, actor

1. Book

The prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli. I have always loved to read, and my studies have made me appreciate the art even more. This year got off to a rough start, and one book that has been on my shelf for quite some time had its spine begging to be read! This title offered some distraction. The book was a gift by Machiavelli himself dedicated to Lorenzo de’ Medici and as I read through it, it helped me understand leaders back in the Renaissance. This provides knowledge on why such conquerors failed to succeed and why others did it so well. It is even relevant in a modern context. And although the word Machiavellian is a term used to be mischievous, one cannot fail to appreciate the cunningness of such a writer and the book itself. I highly recommend picking this book up.

2. Film

Hands down the best animation of 2023 - Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. I simply cannot get over how good this movie is. And believe me, it is not just for kids. The story follows Puss, who is on his last life as he is chased by death… and I don’t mean it metaphorically or rhetorically or poetically or theoretically or any other fancy way! The pompous cat who has a larger-than-life personality now has to go on a humble journey of not just self-discovery and repentance but also to understand those around him and finally face his fear; which is mortality. I think this is something we all fear! Two impressive scenes: the first is his encounter with Death in the movie - Puss not only meets his match, but also faces an unbeatable opponent which he does not have the skill to defeat, this causes the legendary Puss to actually run away in fear. It was devastating. Another scene is when for the first time we see Puss, in silence, have an actual panic attack and is calmed down by his therapy dog… this is a kid movie right? I told you it’s more than that!

3. TV/Internet

The internet is full of wonders… but one truly touching episode was uploaded by Nas Daily. This was his breakup video titled: We Broke Up. Breaking up is never easy, and sometimes you fail to realise why it happened. You get lost in yourself, become drenched in self-pity, you miss the bigger picture. Yet this video has a sense of maturity in it. There is no victimising, no blaming either. What there is a lot of is… acceptance. And I think this touching episode can prove to be beneficial to a lot of people who cannot find the words to describe what they are going through. We tend to burn bridges, tear up memories and simply make monsters of our ex-partners. But here, they made one last memory, they accepted this fate and perhaps this will help them move forward.

4. Music

Roger Waters the Wall. Live performances are something else! This specific concert/album is so powerful. I have always been a fan of this album, but when I came across this treasure, I simply could not stop listening to it. It resonates emotion and visualises sound. Roger Waters is a great storyteller and an even better showman. Watch the concert and get the live album. Trust me!

5. Place

There is this city on a mountain, with three towers, tall trees, corbelled alleys and broad cliffs in Italy. The name is San Marino. This must be my favourite destination for two main reasons; the city just stands out, think of Mdina but four times as large, and it’s on a mountain. It feels like a fairy tale city, the people are really nice, and the history is also quite mesmerising. What it also offers is fresh air, good food and at a reasonable price too! The wine is obviously quite exquisite. The first time I went there was for a Mediaeval festival and that painted a certain picture which is hard for me to forget. Apart from the fact that this was the first city I ever travelled to. As for reason number two…that requires a nice bottle of wine and a chill evening!